Let me tell you a story about the first day of your life. (Welllll, let’s be honest, this story is also about the 24 hours before you showed up, too.)
Still pretty much reeling over the fact that Quinn Louise has entered the world and is hangin’ out across the room from me as I type this. So *tiny* eee! And while the details are fresh in my mind, I wanted to capture the story of her birth on the podcast!
These kinds of stories are never quite as we plan or expect them, but I think a lot of parents will get me on this: babies don’t really care about our plans! And I’m certainly not complaining a single bit. The Kutcher fam is more than complete, and I think I might be basking in the sheer, incalculable magic of that for a long time.
Quinn Louise is here and this is the story of how it all happened.
We went into this birth with a similar plan to Coco’s birth: trust my instincts, be open to what I feel I need, and keep mama and baby safe! Due to restrictions for COVID-19, we had to adjust our birth plan at the last minute. Our hospital would only allow one support person at the birth and a certified doula. Having my mom at Coco’s birth was so special, and so I was bummed that restrictions would’ve prevented her from being there with me (because of course, Drew would be the one support person).
However, my mom decided to get her doula certification so she could be in the hospital room with me. It started as a joke, but my mom really wanted to be there to support us at the birth, and I was so grateful she was able to take an online course to be certified as a doula. Truth be told, Drew probably needed my mom more than I did. He does not like hospital settings, and he said he needed my mom “to keep him upright”. I love the bond they have, but I also really appreciate that she was there to comfort him in a setting that makes him uncomfortable!
During my pregnancy with Coco, I started a Word document with letters to my daughter before she was even born — before I even knew she would be Coco. I looked back at those letters as we inched closer to my due date this time around, and I smiled at the words I wrote. At 36 weeks with Coco, I was convinced she would be born soon… Joke was on me, because Coco came past 41 weeks.
As we waited for baby number two to make their arrival, I was much more chill and relaxed about the possibility of being overdue. We scheduled an induction for one week past my due date, just in case. With Coco, I didn’t dilate at all (oh, by the way, this episode uses a lot of medical terminology — hope you’re okay with that!) but at my 36-week appointment for this baby, I was 1 centimeters dilated. I was excited that my body was preparing for birth but I wasn’t too anxious thinking things would happen fast.
Towards the end of my pregnancy, once I passed the 40 week mark, I succumbed to the things that they tell you will help induce labor, mainly to just help my body out and see if we could get things going. I did all the usual things to help my body along — I drank the teas, did the “deed”, bounced on the ball, did the squats — but I had pretty much resigned to the fact that we’d be induced at our scheduled appointment on November 18, 2021.
But again, jokes on me, because we didn’t totally need the induction appointment after all.
The Night Before
We’d spent the weekend before the induction appointment with Coco, doing all of her favorite things and celebrating her last weekend without a sibling. It was a special way for me to transition out of work mode (something I struggle with) and into this new season of being a mother to a newborn again. It also kept me busy and kept my mind of things!
My parents came to stay with us the night before the appointment so they could be with Coco when we went to the hospital. It was the perfect transition and a great way to prep Coco so she knew what to expect. One of the hardest things for me this time around was being worried about Coco being nevous or anxious without us, so having a night where we all got to be together was so special. We ate pizza and hung out with Coco and my mom gave me one of her famous foot rubs. The baby was going crazy in my belly during the foot rub!
We all tucked into bed that night and went to sleep, but I woke up around midnight and I was wide awake. I started reading a book to settle my mind and that’s when I noticed my first contraction. Since I’d been induced before, I wasn’t super familiar with regular contractions, but I decided to start tracking them with an app I have on my phone. After a bit of time tracking, the app told me to start preparing to go to the hospital!
At the Hospital
When we got to the hospital, they placed me in our room and our OBGYN was working that day so she came in to greet us and after a few checks, asked if I wanted her to break my water. I didn’t even know that was an option, but I was ready to get the party started, so to speak. I was excited to get the show on the road and even more grateful that my body had started labor naturally.
While I was having contractions, they wanted to speed them up to progress things, so they put me on Pitocin (helps progress labor.) I was on Pitocin when I was induced with Coco but this time I didn’t need as much since my body was already in labor, which was awesome. I labored for a bit, managing the contractions well and then they started to get super close together and more painful. I felt like I couldn’t recover between them. At 5 centimeters dilated, I made the call to get an epidural. This is where things got dicey.
My mom stayed in the room since she was a certified doula, not to mention, she was also a nursing instructor and taught on the OB floor for over three decades. Drew left the room and started to get worried when 45 minutes passed and he still wasn’t able to come back in. Unfortunately, I was still in a lot of pain, the epidural was only working on half my body, and that actually made the pain worse.
Meanwhile, Drew came back in, and given he’s not great with medical scenarios, he starts to feel sick. I can see him start to lean forward and I tell my mom to catch him as he starts to faint forward, sitting in his chair. I was not thinking straight at the time, so I started to move towards my mom and Drew to help. I didn’t get far, but the saving grace of this situation was that I must have adjusted my epidural because after that, I didn’t feel pain.
You’ll have to hit play on this episode to hear the full story of this sketchy moment. Thankfully, everyone is okay!
You might think this is crazy, but even when I made it to 10 centimeters dilated, I waited an extra 28 minutes to start pushing just to ensure Drew was okay. I didn’t want him to miss the birth, and he needed just a little more time to start feeling better.
Before I started pushing, I also set up my phone on a tripod and angled it at my face so I could capture the moment our baby was born and placed on my chest. The video is two and a half minutes long and is now one of my most treasured videos. I posted a clip of it on my Instagram if you want to see. You’ll also hear me yell, “What is it?” I was just so excited to find out what we were having!
Quinn Louise arrived at 3 o’clock in the afternoon, a healthy baby girl at 7 pounds 11 ounces. Press play to hear the rest of our story. It’s so special for us to document this story on the podcast, and I hope you enjoy hearing how we brought this sweet little girl into the world.